Dehumidifiers and humidifiers: a breeding ground for mold, algae and bacteria
Dehumidifiers are great for temporarily removing excess moisture from a home. The difference between a humidifier and a dehumidifier is that a humidifier adds moisture to dry air and a dehumidifier removes moisture from moist air. Both can have the same problem of mold, algae, and bacteria buildup in standing water. These units have standing water that requires you to clean them regularly. Monthly is the preferable option. Well, microorganisms will grow rapidly in stagnant water.
There are many health benefits to both types of drives. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture and prevents moisture from building up in your home. A humidifier adds moisture to dry winter air to restore moisture to your skin, lips, throat, and nose. Anyone who suffers from sinusitis in the winter knows how dry air can be irritating and painful to the nasal membranes. I run into the same problem when I leave S. Florida and go to places like Las Vegas, Nevada in the summer due to the dry weather there. The first few days, all I do is drink a lot of water, but then my nose and lips start to crack
Great health benefits are available in both types of units. They must be properly cared for and cleaned. Otherwise, you may experience some serious and unwanted side effects while using them. If you don’t clean your dehumidifier or humidifier monthly, you risk contaminating the air with mold, algae, and bacteria from the unit. Both the dehumidifier and humidifier have standing water at all times.
There are many types of these units, some have built-in UV lights to help keep microorganisms under control. Most require the good old-fashioned cleaning method of washing the tank with soap and water. The best method is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your dehumidifier or humidifier. Follow the instruction manual carefully or you may void your warranty if you do it incorrectly or use the wrong cleaning solution. If you don’t have the manual, call the manufacturer and see if the manual is available online for download. Most have it available now. There are some companies that offer cleaning services for these types of units. You’ll find them in the Yellow Pages.
In conclusion, keep both types of units clean at all times and you will experience better health benefits in the dry winter than in the wet summer. Be sure to keep both units out of the reach of children. Lastly, beware of possible leaks from both types of units. I have seen many dehumidifiers leak and cause more mold problems than before; because they were not properly cared for. Inspect both units daily, never leave them running when you leave home. Run them only when you are there to avoid any kind of unwanted leak. Lastly, keep these units away from furniture, curtains, or walls.